Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Efficiency Apartment

May 24, 2013

Mandy asks…

What is the average electricity bill for an efficiency in san antonio, tx?

I have a 374sq ft apartment with central AC and I’ve heard horror stories about electricity bills during the summer. I just moved in so I don’t have an average and would like to know what to expect. I keep my AC at 80°, have both my ceiling fan and tower fan on all the time and usually have my ’27 inch tv on overnight.

Administrator answers:

$100 2brdm house with no ceiling fans or floor fans but we have a big screen tv and computers that are on all day.

Donna asks…

What to look for when apartment hunting?

I jumped into the whole apartment hunting process and my initial experience has not been so great… I now will be looking for another apartment since I am disappointed with my current one. I would appreciate any advice from any veteran apartment renters on how to make the correct choices this time, how to ask the best questions, and how to catch the red flags.

Administrator answers:

1. Price.
2. Neighborhood
3. Efficiency/What Utilities they pay
4. Amenities
5. Neighbors
6. Furnished/unfurnished
7. Sq footage.
8. Distance from job/school
9. Maitenance Crew
10.Landlord Landlord Landlord.

Ask a few neighbors what do they think about the apartment COMPLEX and the landlord. If you hear more then one complaint about the landlord RUUNNNNNN!

Richard asks…

How much would bills cost in a one bedroom apartment?

How much would my bills be in a one bedroom apartment in houston, tx?
I don’t need an exact number but an estimate would be wonderful.

Administrator answers:

Some bills wil be included. Why don’t you call the utility company and they can tell you how much the average bill is for the exact apartment you are looking at.

Electricity will depend on the size and efficiency, but should be around $100 most months and climbing as high as $200 in the summer (again, that is just a guess). Water is normally not paid by the renter. Cable depends on the provider and what you choose but will likely run about $50 a month. Will you have a land line? Will you have to pay for alarm monitoring? Internet?

George asks…

How to make the most of a tiny apartment?

I am moving into a very, very small efficiency by myself. The kitchen and patio are of a decent size but the living/bedroom area is even smaller than my old bedroom in my parents’ house. (I wish I had pics to show just how small it is.)
Any ideas about furniature that won’t take up much space and will fit my belongings without clutter? Thanks.
Yes, the living room and bedroom are the same area.
Sabaku- I hate the idea of a tiny apartment too, but I’m just a college student who will probably be out of there in 2 years. I have been trying to look for something cheap to make it easier on my dad, who is paying for rent and the college education of 3 kids! So maybe this tiny-room experience will teach me some decorating skills if anything. :D
Thanks for all the responses so far, these ideas are wonderful.

Administrator answers:

Use a futon (rather than both a couch and a bed)
An entertainment center for your TV, stereo, etc. That also will fit movies, books, knick knacks, etc. Perhaps end tables with drawers–so you can keep it tidy.

I hope that you, at least, have a lot of closet/storage space. If not, get those Rubbermaid storage boxes with lids, and store a lot of things in them. You could also use closet organizers.

Since your living/sleeping area is so small–make a lot of use of your patio–decorate it with wind chimes, a barbecue grill, table, and anything that will make you feel comfortable using it.

Also use your kitchen (you could put a small TV, radio, etc. In there–that way you are not always enclosed in your small living area.

I now live in a very small studio. I use a daybed, my computer is on one of my very tall end tables, and a plant & my phone are on the other one. I have a thin pole-lamp, an entertainment center that holds my TV, stereo, VCR-DVD player, books and movies.

My kitchen is also tiny–so I am fortunate to have a very large, enclosed yard. My table and barbecue grill are out there–so are my cleaning supplies (in storage containers), a trash can, and a place where I hang my laundry to dry in the sun.

I have little closet space, so again those storage boxes for out-of-season clothing, and basically anything that I don’t use often, and don’t have room for.

Sandy asks…

Do landlords have any responsibility to improve the efficiency of an inefficient heating system?

I live in a two story (1200 sq ft) relatively old apartment in New England. Since it’s become colder, we’ve started to turn on the propane heat to keep the apartment warm. Alarming, after 3 weeks set at 66-68F, a full tank is almost empty. We had it filled and it cost $568.00. We had the propane company out to check for leaks and there’s nothing. When we asked about the heating costs while we were considering the apartment, we were told that last year the owner spent a considerable amount on propane ($4000 for the year) but this was due to the fact that he was a senior and liked the heat around 75F and he couldn’t close one of the windows in the unit. The landlord (not the owner) is highly uncooperative and very difficult to deal with. Any suggestions other than to buy a ton of space heaters and DIY insulation supplies-I have no idea how I am going to afford $568 every three weeks or survive a New England winter with out heat. Thanks!

Administrator answers:

Of course they can

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